Everyone assumes marijuana is legal in Jamaica and Amsterdam. Jamaica even has vending machines. But warning. Here are 4 places you thought you could indulge in cannabis, but the laws suggest something else.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has openly admitted to smoking cannabis, and the Great White North appears to be on the road to legalization. But the thriving dispensary system is still illegal, even as cities like Vancouver, which has about 100 dispensaries, takes steps to license, regulate, and introduce product testing guidelines among its private pot retailers. The only way to get cannabis legally in Canada is to get a doctor's authorization, and even then, warns the Canadian Medical Protective Association, "Physicians should be aware however, that many colleges prohibit or strongly discourage their members from dispensing, providing, or accepting delivery of marijuana for medical purposes." Everyone assumes marijuana is legal in Jamaica and Amsterdam. Not true. Here are 4 places you thought you could indulge in cannabis, but you legally cannot.
Everyone assumes marijuana is legal in Jamaica and Amsterdam. Not true. Here are 4 places you thought you could indulge in cannabis, but you legally can't.
2. A hotel balcony in Colorado
Pot tourism is huge in the Evergreen State: you'd think hotels would have thrown up their hands in resignation and allowed people to light up on their private balconies. And you'd be wrong: while recreational marijuana use is legal in the state, public consumption is not - and that includes most hotel balconies. If you're looking for a truly no-holds-barred cannabis getaway, you'll have to go a little farther afield than downtown Denver to a place like Camp Bud+Breakfast in Parshall, Colorado, which just started taking bookings for summer 2016: "Thanks to its small number of rooms and secluded mountainside location," explain the founders, "Camp Bud+Breakfast is able to allow marijuana consumption in all public areas."
Jamaica has enjoyed its ganja-loving reputation for decades and generally turned a blind eye to toking tourists, but that doesn't mean it's legal. In fact, it was only in February 2015 that the island nation decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. But it's not like that was going to affect the status quo very much. As Men's Journal's Robert Annis points out, "Marijuana was already exceedingly easy to obtain before decriminalization, so that won't change. Tourists are approached almost as soon as they step off the plane." Currently, the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is decriminalized under Jamaican law.
Believe it or not, cannabis use is still illegal in the Netherlands - authorities have just opted to openly ignored the law since the mid-1970s. Basically, no one in possession of less than five grams of marijuana gets prosecuted - but the so-called "Dutch Model" is no longer as tolerant of growers. As Newsweek reports, "In 2011, the government issued new police guidelines and declared anyone who grew with electric lights, prepared soil, "selected" seeds or ventilation would be considered "professional." It's a significant change, as professional growers risk major penalties, including eviction and blacklisting from the government-provided housing in which more than half of the country's citizens reside."
Click here to take a tour of one of the newest legal recreational cannabis places: Alaska.